My house is enveloped in a light haze at the moment and smells faintly, I think, like a Native American sweat lodge. And I’ve done this on purpose.
In an early bout of spring cleaning, I found a sage smudge stick I’d bought in my New Age days. For the uninitiated, smudge sticks are used for spiritual house cleanings. Sage is considered a purifying herb, although other herbs are sometimes used. The theory is that the smoke attaches itself to the negative energy in a house and as the smoke clears, it takes the negative energy with it. That’s a vast oversimplification, but it’ll work for our purposes.
Living in the family home after a divorce, you can see why one might consider smudging, should one conveniently find a smudge stick while cleaning out a junk drawer. Plenty of negative energy to purge.
So I am going from room to room, holding in one hand the mini blowtorch I use to crisp up crème brulee and the smudge stick in my other hand. I am saying the Lord’s Prayer as I light, wave and walk.
I am hoping to be unobtrusive (which is hard when you have a mini blowtorch in hand and are trailing smoke). But alas, my boys catch wind that something is amiss in their man cave (aka, our basement). The dog trailing me and whining gives me away.
“What smells?” I hear my oldest ask.
“I don’t know but it smells like sheep poop,” says my youngest. How he knows what sheep poop smells like, I do not know. I’m the one from Ohio.
As they trace the smoke to the back room of the basement and see me waving, trailing smoke (and our large dog) and praying, they take it all in.
“What is she doing?” my youngest asks.
“I don’t know but I think the house might be on fire,” says my eldest.
“Oh, that must be why she is praying,” says my little one.
As I try to ignore the chatter and keep up constant movement, paying special attention to doors and windows (as the Internet told me to do—and we all know if you see it on the Internet, it must be true), they trail me.
“Mom, the smoke alarms are going to start going off,” says Number One Son.
“And then the dog will begin to bark,” says Number Two.
They begin to follow me on my trek through the house. Which now that I think about it, is worrisome. If the house was really on fire and I was praying while holding a blowtorch and strolling from room to room, I truly hope they would not feel the wise plan would be to follow my crazy ass. But I digress.
By the time I reach the second floor, the haze is getting thicker and the boys are coughing. They’ve stopped trailing me, claiming headaches and nausea. I tell them to head outside for some fresh air.
The dog is still hot on my trail, staring at the waving smudge stick as if at any moment she may jump up to catch it mid-wave. I keep one eye on her and one on the floor to be sure no burning embers start the fire my boys are convinced is already in progress. Midway through the second floor, she begins to bark furiously at said smudge stick and try to attack it, as I fend her off so she does not burn her mouth.
At the same time, the smoke alarm begins its piercing chirp, which stokes our puppy to barking frenzy.
The boys head back in just as I finish, I’m sure looking like a specter emerging from a haze of smoke, blowtorch in hand, burning sage wand in the other, keeping a wild dog at bay while the piercing alarm continues. I then explain, yelling over the ruckus, the purpose of this ritual and my boys, used to my shenanigans, don’t even look at me as if I’m crazy.
However, when a friend appears at the door and I open it, said haze still billowing out, she says, “Oh my God. What happened?”
“You missed a smudge,” I say triumphantly, sure the positive energy is just oozing into our pores.
“What?” she asks. “What do you mean?”
As my boys head back downstairs with only minor hacking and clearing of throats, my eldest yells up, “Please don’t ask. You seriously don’t want to know. It’s a Mom thing. The good news is, I think we might have crème brulee for dinner. She already has the torch out.”
Yep. Oozing positive energy. I’m feeling the love already . . .